PIA12701: Vast Saturn

 Vast Saturn

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The immense size of Saturn is emphasized in this Cassini spacecraft portrait that features the moon Mimas shown in front of the planet.

Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across) appears as only a small dot above the rings near the center of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about one degree above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 17, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 87 degrees. Image scale is 99 kilometers (62 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at ciclops.org.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Image Addition Date: 2010-08-18

Source: NASA’s Planetary Photojournal: Image No. PIA12701